Joel Faxon
Joel Faxon ()

One of Connecticut’s most high-powered plaintiffs firms is changing names and losing a key partner.

Michael Stratton, a co-founder of Stratton Faxon Trial Lawyers, has announced his resignation from the firm. Stratton will re-direct “his energies to obtaining justice for underserved individuals and families in New Haven and Connecticut,” according to a press release.

The remaining co-founder is Joel Faxon, and the New Haven firm’s new name will be Faxon Law Group. In the same press release, Faxon said the firm will continue to focus on catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases as well as community involvement. Among other things, the Stratton Faxon firm has sponsored a popular annual road race in New Haven. It also has long claimed that it gives 10 percent of its fee in each case to charitable causes. In the past, the firm has helped raise money for legal aid agencies in the state.

In a telephone interview, Faxon said it was Stratton’s decision “to focus more of his time on the politics of New Haven.” Stratton had previously served as an alderman in New Haven and has spoken of running for mayor.

“Obviously, we didn’t want [Stratton's political activity] to be a distraction for what we do here,” Faxon said.

The other partners in the Faxon Law Group are Eric P. Smith and Timothy Pothin, both members of the Stratton Faxon firm. The firm’s new website also lists a fourth attorney, Jason Gamsby. Stratton will remain affiliated with the firm in an of counsel role.

Stratton has made headlines in recent months for activities having little to do with the practice of law. Law year, Stratton won a seat on the New Haven Board of Aldermen, where he was a frequent critic of the city’s fiscal policies. In June, after some reported differences with other board members and Mayor Toni Harp, he resigned his post. Shortly after, a young woman Stratton had been dating was arrested during a reported domestic dispute at his apartment. Then came word that a warrant had been issued for Stratton’s arrest on charges of third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace stemming from the June 13 domestic incident.

Stratton has insisted his arrest was politically motivated, linked to his disagreements with Harp.

“Stratton has been an innovator in the law for over the past 24 years,” according to the Faxon Law Group press release. “Faxon Law Group wishes Mr. Stratton the best in his professional and political endeavors and is grateful to him for the contributions he has made to the firm, to the community, and to the development of trial law in Connecticut for more than two decades.”